How a powernap can recharge you for the day

We took naps in kindergarten, and many college students think it's still a good idea.

But once we're out of college, napping seems to fall out of fashion. A nap becomes something to hide, something we do on the sly. But should we be ashamed of catching a quick nap?

"I take care of some professional athletes that insist on taking naps the day of a big game and they think that, that helps them perform better at a higher level," sleep doctor Atul Malhotra said.

Doctor Malhotra is the director of sleep medicine at UC San Diego. He says we are a sleep deprived society, and while a good night's sleep should be your first choice, an afternoon nap may be the next best thing.

"Power nap is a brief sleep that people take in the afternoon. And they feel recharged or rejuvenated after doing that," Dr. Malhotra said.

But sleeping in college is an easy thing to schedule. But what if you spend your day at work? Is a nap still possible?

For Tom Dannemiller, it is. The middle of the day means one thing.

"I take my nap in my car," Dannemiller said.

For 15 years, the company president has used a 30 minute afternoon nap to recharge his day.

"If I can stop in the middle of the day and take a nap, I can recover that energy and be a lot more effective," he said.

"If you're in a circumstance where you can lie down in a comfortable, quiet area that's dark, that would be ideal," Malhotra said.

He said napping too long can make you feel groggy and impact your night's sleep. And naps are a bad idea if you suffer from insomnia.

But if you're looking for a boost to get you through the day a nap is a natural alternative. Could it even make you a better person?

"I don't know if I'm a better person but I'm definitely more rested and alert," Dannemiller said.